Amazon patents dualume tablet
Backlit devices are good at animation.
Reflective devices are good at battery life.
Back on December 11 of 2009 (coming up on three years ago), I coined the term ”dualume” in this blog to designate a device that used both methods of displaying text and images.
A patent from Amazon
The device would have two screens, front and back. You’d be able to “push” an image from one side to the other…swapping between a reflective screen and backlit screen.
I know some people think I’m just an Amazon fan, but that sounds like it would not be a popular thing to me.
Entourage tried a two-screen device like that, although the screen were side-by side like two pages of a paperbook, not front and back. It was relatively expensive and heavy, and eventually failed in the market…it wound up being cleared out for $80 on http://www.woot.com/, which is owned by Amazon.
Let’s say Amazon solves those problems, and the device is reasonably priced and not excessively heavy.
I’m having a tough time imagining how I would hold that device. When I hold my Kindle Fire, three or four fingers are usually contacting the cover which at that point is covering the back of the device.
I don’t like to put my fingers on the screen, even though I have to do that to interact with it. I use a stylus sometimes, and I do think we’ll see a gestural interface for tablets where we don’t have to touch them, but just wave our fingers over them, Minority Report style.
I don’t want to have to hold my device by the screen.
Also, how do you put it down? I wouldn’t put my Fire face down on a restaurant table. What happens when both sides are face?
It reminds me of something which I think originally appeared in Omni Magazine. The idea was that, since toast always lands buttered side down, and a cat always lands on its feet, you could strap a piece of toast buttered side up on a cat’s back, drop it, and it would hover in mid-air.
If the screen is on both sides, how do you cover it? I can see some sort of retracting cover that you slide aside, but it seems like a lot of work.
I can picture a commercial, licensed by Amazon from Devo:
“When you want to read a book…you must flip it!
When you want to watch a show…you must flip it!”
When I wrote about Apple’s filing, more than a year ago, for a screen that could switch in situ between the two lighting methods, that made a lot more sense to me.
The Amazon patent is two things stuck together. The Apple patent transforms from one thing to another.
Centaur…or werewolf? I think, in this case, I’m going with the werewolf.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.